You’re Only As Old as Your Pass Category

September 30, 2010 at 8:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on You’re Only As Old as Your Pass Category

Skiing isn’t just for young folks anymore.

It turns out that the fastest growing age group of skiers, as a percentage of all skiers, is those over 55. Those baby boomers who took up skiing a generation or more ago are still in good shape, and they don’t want anyone telling them that it’s time to retire the old knees and hang up the ol’ boards.

I remember back when the 70+ club was a big deal. Anybody still on skis at that age was rewarded with a neat badge and, often, a free ticket. Now, I hardly bat an eye when I see an 80-year-old schooling some teenagers on technique. In fact, Butternut Ski Patrol currently has one distinguished member in his 80s, and at least 5 in their 70s.

So, naturally, the definition of “senior” has evolved. Jim Shay, an editor for the Connecticut Post, discusses this phenomenon in a recent post on his blog, The Snow Zone.

As Shay points out, while Mohawk Mountain down in Connecticut still sells discounted senior season passes at the age of 65, most mountains have long since pushed that number up to 70 (or higher). Vail Resorts sells its Epic Pass for one price, whether you’re 28 or 82. And while 70+ skiers used to ski free at some mountains, that benefit is mostly gone (our neighbor Catamount has kept it, but bumped it up to 80).

It’s not all bad news, of course: Mountains like Ski Butternut have lowered the price of season passes across the board to encourage multi-generation extended families to enjoy the sport together (our unlimited adult season passes today cost hundreds of dollars less than they cost in 1998), and steep kids discounts have remained in place to help grandparents introduce the next generation to the sport.

And a slight clarification to Shays’ post is in order: For season passes, Butternut has defined “senior” as 70+ for as long as I can remember, but we continue to offer senior discounts on day tickets to anyone 65+ (and even steeper discounts on weekdays to folks 70+).

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